Physical Science

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” -Neil Gaiman Enjoying the Perseid meteor shower this year, as perhaps you do every August? As you look up, the great cosmic show might have a lot more to offer than mere streaks of light, due to cometary…

“Our first priority was making sure we weren’t fooling ourselves.” -Keith Riles, LIGO team member When LIGO announced their first discovery of a black hole-black hole merger, it came as a surprise to almost everyone. The shocking part wasn’t that LIGO had seen merging black holes, but that they were discovered to be so massive.…

“To be on my very first spacewalk, to be outside, and to have contamination in my suit to the point that I couldn’t see in either eye – that, I think, would cause some people to lose control.” -Chris Hadfield Sure, you probably laughed about it when you first heard that NASA had a Planetary…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: July

Another month, another collection of blog posts for Forbes: — The Physics Of Century-Old Mirror Selfies: Back in the early 1900’s there was a brief vogue for trick pictures showing the same person from five different angles; this post explains how to do that with mirrors. — Why Research By Undergraduates Is Important For Science…

Tom Levenson is a professor, a teacher of journalism and science journalism, and an Einstein scholar. He also knows a thing or two about Isaac Newton. One of my favorite non fiction books of all time is Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist. One of the reasons this…

“I’d rather fight 100 structure fires than a wildfire. With a structure fire you know where your flames are, but in the woods it can move anywhere; it can come right up behind you.” -Tom Watson The solar eclipse we’ve all been waiting for is just two weeks away. Yet even though you’ve got your…

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” ―Gene Roddenberry Well, it happened, everyone! I flew out to the official…

Elusive Neutrino Couplings Observed

These guys look like they are getting their bong ready, but in truth, they are up to something else. Everybody knows that neutrinos are everywhere, yet, nearly impossible to detect. A group of scientists have managed to pull off over 100 detection events over the course of about a year and a half using an…

“Chlorine is a deadly poison gas employed on European battlefields in World War I. Sodium is a corrosive metal which burns upon contact with water. Together they make a placid and unpoisonous material, table salt. Why each of these substances has the properties it does is a subject called chemistry.” -Carl Sagan Every beginning chemistry…

“Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see an eclipse, clouds prevent a sight of it; and yet a sense of relief accompanies the disappointment.” –Simon Newcomb On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will travel coast-to-coast across the United States, bringing darkness during the day to portions of 14…